Family members who have provided free childcare in person, over the phone, or by video call in the past year during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns can apply for National Insurance (NI) credits at add to their state pension.
NI credits were introduced in April 2011 and you may be eligible to receive them if you are a grandparent or other family member caring for a child under the age of 12 – usually while their child is parent, or primary guardian, works – even if it is from home.
When the first lockdown began in March 2020, normal care arrangements were affected by restrictions imposed across the country, but if you’ve provided care in a different way in the past 18 months – for example by phone, video call, or social distance contact – you can still claim NI credits for fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.
Specified credits for adult child care work by transferring the NI credit attached to family allowances from the recipient of family allowances to a family member who takes care of a child under 12 or 17 if disabled.
If no one has applied for family allowances for the child, there is no joint NI credit to transfer and Specified Adult Care Credits cannot be assigned.
Kay Ingram, former director of public policy at the national financial planning group LEBC explains: âEach loan currently purchases Â£ 250 of annual state pension, payable for life from state retirement age.
“Those caregivers who do not pay national insurance themselves can apply for these valuable supplements to their state pension.”
Ms Ingram added: âHM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) believes this benefit is underclaimed and therefore many eligible people are missing.
“Those who provided child care in the early years can backdate their application to when the program started, which was in 2011. That could mean claiming up to nine years of credits, representative. currently Â£ 2,340 of annual state pension.
âMany older women have less than 35 years of NI credits in their own working life, which contributes to the Gender pension gap which means that those who support the younger generations by offering free childcare can improve their retirement prospects. ”
Who can claim specified adult child care credits?
You can claim specified adult child care credits if:
you are a grandparent or other family member caring for a child under 12
you were over 16 and under retirement age when you took care of the child
you usually reside in the UK
the parent of the child (or the primary caregiver) is entitled to family allowances and has one year of eligibility for national insurance without needing NI class 3 credits from the parent he automatically receives family allowances (he may check their national insurance file online here to see if they have any gaps in the contributions
The child’s parent (or primary caregiver) must accept your request by countersigning the form to confirm that:
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When to apply
Specified credits for adult child care can be attributed retrospectively, to April 6, 2011 as soon as possible.
Applications for a given tax year cannot be accepted until the next october at the earliest, which means that for the tax year 2020 to 2021, applications will open in October 2021 and for 2021 to 2022, in October 2022.
If you have provided babysitting services it is essential that you take note of when and how you did so, this will help make the application process much simpler and faster.
How to register
To claim specified adult child care credits, you will need to complete an interactive online application form.
The application requires:
personal data of the applicant – the family member caring for the child
the child’s contact details and custody periods
personal data of the child’s parent (or the person who mainly cares for him) – the beneficiary of family allowances
both the applicant and the parent must sign their declarations on the application
For details on specified adult child care credits and to apply for NI credits, visit the GOV.UK website here.
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